Digital Bounds Logo

Why Apple killed the SD card reader

In an interview with the Independent, Apple’s Senior VP Phil Schiller had a chance to talk in detail the rationale behind the new MacBook Pro and the removal of the SD card reader. The SD card is another industry standard for most compact and DSLR cameras, with no replacement technology for the SD card.

Creatives use the MacBook Pro for shooting video, taking photos, and recording music. The former two use cameras with SD cards, which many would pop out of the camera and into the MacBook. Now they’re stuck using a USB-C dongle or transferring the images or videos via Wifi.

Because of a couple of things. One, it’s a bit of a cumbersome slot. You’ve got this thing sticking halfway out. Then there are very fine and fast USB card readers, and then you can use CompactFlash as well as SD. So we could never really resolve this – we picked SD because more consumer cameras have SD but you can only pick one. So, that was a bit of a trade-off. And then more and more cameras are starting to build wireless transfer into the camera. That’s proving very useful. So we think there’s a path forward where you can use a physical adaptor if you want, or do wireless transfer.

Wireless transfer technology in cameras is becoming more prevalent in cameras, but it’s still not standard on all cameras. It’s also not as smooth or fast as using a physical SD card, in fact, it’s unlikely it’ll become faster for years to come. Schiller further says he’s surprised by the negative reaction, which shows just how out of touch Apple is with their creative customers.

Apple’s newest MacBook Pro needs dozens of dongles just to transfer photos, use an external display, or even connect your iPhone to your MacBook Pro. Apple’s also avoiding adding a touch screen display to their MacBook, a big selling point for Surface devices and Windows laptops. Either way, it feels like Apple doesn’t know where to take its prosumer laptop. It honestly seems like the MacBook Pro is being targeted towards students and not YouTubers, photographers, or musicians.

Tell us in the comments below what you think about Schillers comments on the MacBook Pro and SD card removal.

Comments